Does 'Cash for Clunkers' Provide Lesson for Health Care Reform?

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," August 20, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Meanwhile, the Obama administration just announcing that it is ending its "cash for clunkers" program on Monday, and frustrated dealers wondering if they will ever see their money.

A message for doctors supporting government-run health care? Jim Anderer says, you had better believe it. He is the owner of Island Mitsubishi, and not a fan of what the government has been doing lately in his business and, I guess, soon in the health care business, right?

JIM ANDERER, OWNER, ISLAND MITSUBISHI: Well, you are right, Neil. I am not a fan.

I have got to tell you, if they run this public-option health care like they have run this "cash for clunkers," we are going to have a problem. Dealers around the country are not getting paid. This bureaucratic "cash for clunkers" program has just turned into a nightmare.


CAVUTO: But the president today said, Jim, it's a victim of its own success — that the response so overwhelming, the government wasn't prepared for it.

Do you buy that?

ANDERER: Well, you know, what does he expect?

I mean, the guy comes out with a program, all right? He knows that he's giving away money. He's giving away taxpayer money for people to buy cars. Of course it is going to be a success. The guy has 300 people employed to take care of this. From day one, it was not enough. It is 130 pages of gobbledygook — OK? — written by bureaucrats who don't understand what it is.

CAVUTO: So, the dealers that you know are saying what? I mean, we are not getting paid by the government for the clunkers that are turned in, so the heck with it; we are not going to do it?

ANDERER: Oh, most dealers have — have stopped doing it. I mean, number one, maybe they may have run out of cars, but, number two, you want to talk about cash flow problems? Hey, we got to make payroll. We're laying out this money for the government — all right?

Only 2 percent of the money has come back to the dealers so far. I mean, you are looking at 450,000 applications that have been submitted by dealers. There are some dealers out there — the big groups — are owed $20 million. And they don't know when they are going to get the money.

CAVUTO: The read from the administration, the transportation secretary, I believe yesterday, was that it would be weeks. It would not be like a year's deal.

ANDERER: Well, I don't believe him. You know, show me — all right? I would like to see it. Where is the check?


CAVUTO: So, this ignited interest, the White House says. Whether they get their money immediately or not, there is no denying that this got fannies into those showrooms — end of story. Good story.

ANDERER: Absolutely, it did. Absolutely, it did. But it's an example of how the government has unintended consequences when they come up these crazy programs.

CAVUTO: Well, you wouldn't have done a "cash for clunker" program at all?

ANDERER: I would not have done it — no, absolutely not.

CAVUTO: Then what would you have relied on to get sales?

ANDERER: I would rely on regular entrepreneurship, merchandising, good product, good pricing. And that's how you operate a proper business.

CAVUTO: Now, we should stress that you had a very successful Chrysler dealership...

ANDERER: Right. Right.

CAVUTO: ... that was shut down in this government makeover crisis.

ANDERER: Illegally shut down.

CAVUTO: You argue illegally, because you were doing good business.

ANDERER: And we're still fighting.

CAVUTO: Still fighting.

ANDERER: We're not giving up.

CAVUTO: Where does that stand? I know you and a lot of your colleagues went down to Washington. You met with all the powers that be. But you're still without your dealership.

ANDERER: We have got the entire House on our side. We have got up to
39 senators on our side, all right? We're fighting this thing. We're winning.

CAVUTO: Do you think so much as one of those dealerships is going to reopen?

ANDERER: Absolutely. I absolutely think so, yes. I believe in that.

There's a lot of powerful people, a lot of money behind us. There's a lot of people who understand that this was un-American, it was illegal, it was unconstitutional. This fight is still in its infancy, OK.

But I — I have got to tell you something. This whole government, you know, this rush towards socialism, I find very, very disturbing. And this "cash for clunkers" is an example of it. I mean, you want to talk about the government running health care? God help us.

You know, it's one thing for me not to get paid. What about doctors and nurses and hospitals not getting paid? What about that?

CAVUTO: We shall see.

Jim Anderer, thanks. Always good seeing you.

Content and Programming Copyright 2009 FOX News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2009 CQ Transcriptions, LLC, which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon FOX News Network, LLC'S and CQ Transcriptions, LLC's copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.